Facebook Technologies, LLC (Menlo Park, CA)

A manufacturing system that fabricates self-aligned variable refractive index elements. It includes a patterning system and deposition system , as well as an etching and etching process. The manufacturing system is responsible for lithographic patterning of one or more photoresists in order to make a stack that is placed on a substrate. The manufacturing system is able to conformally deposit a protective layer on the stack. The manufacturing process performs a deposition of a photoresist that is a first of a refractive index first on the protective coating. To achieve a threshold value for the thickness of the first layer manufacturing process removes the first photoresist. The manufacturing system performs a deposition of a second photoresist with another refractive index onto the photoresist that was first. The second refractive index is greater than the first refractive index. To create an optical grating, the manufacturing system removes the second photoresist.

The present disclosure generally relates to display using waveguides, and in particular manufacturing optical grating elements having a variable depth and duty-cycle.

Near-eye light fields display images directly to the eyes of the user. This can be done with electronic viewfinders as well as near-eye displays (NEDs). Near-eye displays (NEDs), which are typical near-eye displays generally have an element of display that emits image light. The light is reflected through one or several lenses before reaching the eyes. In addition, NEDs in augmented reality systems typically need to be compact and light weight and have a large exit pupils with large field-of-view to facilitate use.However it is true that designing a conventional NED using materials with desirable optical properties often results in a very low output-coupling effectiveness of the image light that the user receives through their eyes due to mismatch in the dimensions and form of the grating. Although conventional lithography techniques can create optical grating elements that have an adjustable duty cycle, they aren’t capable of adjusting the thickness of the optical grating. It’s therefore hard to find a machine that can create opticalgrating components with different depths and duty cycle that can be produced with high efficiency.

The embodiments relate to a method for manufacturing an optical waveguide grating. The manufacturing process that is used to create the optical grating could comprise the patterning system and deposition system. The manufacturing system performs a printing process using one or more photoresists that are deposited over the substrate. The manufacturing process involves the deposition process that involves at least one ofthe following: an etch-compatible material, a metal, a photoresist or somecombination thereof.

The manufacturing process performs photoresist patterning on the substrate. Once the pattern is created, the manufacturing system transfers it into an under-layering hard-mask. The manufacturing system performs adeposition of a second photoresist over the patterned mask. The manufacturing system then performs the patterning lithograph of this second photoresist in order create a modified version with multiple heights relative to substrate. Themanufacturing system performs a pattern transfer on the substrate based upon the plurality of heights present in the modified second photoresist and the pattern created by the hard mask to form a mold for a nanoimprint that has at least a number of different etchdepths and at least one or more duty cycles. The manufacturing system may transfer a pattern from the nanoimprint mould onto an optical waveguide to form an optical grating which has various etch depths. In certain configurations that use the second photoresist, it is one that is lithographically patterned using an etch mask of gray scale.

In certain embodiments the second photoresist may be a photoresist in gray scale that has been lithographically printed using a grayscale-based mask. The manufacturing system creates the gray-scale pattern by performing the deposition process of a metal layer over a secondsubstrate . It also involves changing the thickness of the metal layer based on the erosion process that is performed using the use of a beam of ion that moves in 1D across the metal layer. In another way the manufacturing system produces the gray-scale mask using the threshold number of layers of another material. The manufacturing system depositions a third photoresist on the top of the substrate.

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